New Gibson Township Municipal Building ready to go nearly a year after fire

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GIBSON TOWNSHIP, SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Nearly a year ago, flames destroyed the Gibson Township Municipal Building.

Township officials were forced to rebuild. 11 months later, the Susquehanna County community opens its new facility. On January 3, 2019, this is what the Gibson Township Municipal Building looked like:

A day prior, a fire destroyed multiple work vehicles, equipment, tools and everything else it takes to run the township. Nearly a year later, this is the new look:

“There was nothing wrong with the other one. This is a nice building, no question about it,” former township supervisor Leonard Bartkus said.

Bartkus says the quick build started only months after the fire. In all, costing more than $600,000. $400,000 of that came from the insurance company. The township then paid cash for the remainder.

“There’s a million and a quarter in the kitty. Everything is paid for,” Bartkus said.

That includes all new equipment, from three snowplows to shop tools.

“Your welders, your air compressors and you know, all the small stuff,” Bartkus said.

The finished product comes as Supervisor Bartkus heads into retirement. Tuesday is his last day serving on the board after decades of service.

“I’m leaving here where I hold my head high. I’ve been here for 52 years,” Bartkus said.

At 89 years young, Bartkus will spend his retirement at home with his wife.

“It’s a blessing that I’m going home. She’s on oxygen around the clock and we’re going to be married 71 years,” Bartkus said.

Eyewitness News asked the long-time public servant, who has four children and grandchildren, what he plans to do.

“A glass of wine when I get home,” Bartkus said.

Bartkus was recently recognized by county and state officials for his service of more than five decades.

Gibson Township supervisors will hold their first public meeting in the new building Monday, January 6th, 2020 at 7 p.m.

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